Cardinal Roger Mahony
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Democratic National Convention
Monday, August 14, 2000
I welcome you to the "City of Angels" with all its vibrant religious, ethnic,
and racial diversity. I come to this great convening out of respect for our
nation's democratic traditions. I come as a pastor, not a politician; an
advocate of values, not candidates.
Prayer must be about moral values, not partisan politics. It should express
faith, not ideology. So as we begin our prayer this evening let us be mindful
that we are always in the presence of God:
Let us Pray:
God of life and love,
God of compassion and mercy,
God of reconciliation and forgiveness,
God of justice and peace.
As you gathered your people into the land that was promised to them, you
called them to heed your voice and follow your commandments. These commandments
are at once simple and profound: To love God above all else and to love our
neighbor as ourselves. We have been called to "choose life" and to "serve the
least of these."
Tonight we are gathered here profoundly aware of our need for God's wisdom
and grace to embody these commandments in our laws and policies so that "justice
will flow like a mighty river and uprightness like a never-failing stream" (Amos
5.24). Strengthen our will to build a nation that measures progress by how the
weak and vulnerable are faring.
In the span of just three weeks, our nation's major political parties will
have gathered at their conventions to select their candidates for the upcoming
presidential campaign. We pray tonight that your Spirit will inspire all
candidates, regardless of party, to embody in their words, actions, and policies
values that protect all human life, establish peace, promote justice, and uphold
the common good. For it is in you, O God, that we trust.
In You, O God, we trust…that you will keep us ever committed to protect the
life and well-being of all people but especially unborn children, the sick and
the elderly, those on skid row and those on death row.
In You, O God, we trust…that you will instill in us the resolve to not rest
until every family has enough food to eat, the clothing to keep them warm,
adequate shelter to protect them from the elements, and a decent education for
In You, O God, we trust…that you will give us the resolve to create those
conditions in society where working people earn wages that can sustain
themselves and their family members in dignity, and that they have access to
adequate healthcare, childcare, and education.
In You, O God, we trust…that you will plant deep in our hearts the truth that
our neighbor is anyone near or far who needs our assistance and support
regardless of whether they suffer from AIDS or debt in Africa, religious
persecution in China or Sudan, or from hunger and poverty in developing
In You, O God, we trust…that we will recognize that dignity and worth of each
person comes from you and is not determined by race or ethnicity, by age or
gender, by economic or immigration status, by faith or creed.
Tonight, O God, we pray for "a new kind of politics, focused more on moral
principles than on the latest polls, more on the needs of the poor and
vulnerable than the contributions of the rich and powerful, more on the pursuit
of the common good than the demands of special interests."
We pray, O God,
That you will give us the courage, the wisdom, and the insight,
To build a nation founded on "life, liberty and the pursuit of justice" for
all God's children.
We make our prayer in your name.